Tibetan tourism village earning more

Updated: 2012-08-11 07:41

By Li Yao (China Daily)

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Tibetan tourism village earning more 

Tourists visit Namtso Lake in Tibet autonomous region, Aug 7, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]


Villagers in the Tibet autonomous region are earning more income as they increase their capacity to accommodate and cater for tourists.

In Tashigang village, a scenic spot in southeast Tibet's Nyingchi prefecture, tourism income increased to 1.5 million yuan ($235,800) in 2011, or 61 percent of the entire year's revenues.

All 303 villagers are grateful to the team from the prefecture tourism bureau, who helped them build up tourism capacity.

Villagers now enjoy rising living standards and increasing revenues, thanks to the support of the team, said a villager named Pema.

Pema, from a five-member household, runs a rural home inn and has earned 68,000 yuan so far this year.

Most of that income comes from tourists' purchases, mainly of rare herbal medicines, such as caterpillar fungus, and local food specialties.

Nyima Tsering, the leader of the team, said that from early on, villagers had seen tourism as an engine for economic prosperity, but they could not expand the market because of scarce resources, poor infrastructure and uncoordinated operations.

After Nyima Tsering's team arrived, the village began to run rural-home inns as cooperative businesses, the first such business model in Nyingchi.

The team also introduced uniform operational practices, governing how to keep accounts and maintain required sanitary standards.

Five chief projects have been identified to strengthen the village's capacity to accommodate tourists. With total investment estimated at 4.95 million yuan, they will install a waste disposal system, as well as build a new community recreation center and four model home inns, Nyima Tsering said.

The village is going through a transformation, as some projects have already been completed, and others are in preparation.

The team has secured most of the needed grants from prefecture and higher-ranking authorities, Nyima Tsering said.

The team has invited tourism educators, police officers, firefighters and hotel chefs in Nyingchi to train Tashigang villagers in first aid, emergency response and related skills.

Tibet has sent similar teams to help lift rural villages out of poverty.

The regional government believed that the team members, including officials and technocrats, through their stay in the villages, can get close to villagers' hearts and discover their needs.

In accordance, they tried to find solutions and provide grants and training to help villagers have more income-generating knowledge.

Xinhua contributed to this story.